Ratings vs. Rankings
July 26, 2013
For some time now, we have been noticing the overwhelming correlation with online reviews on websites such as Yelp and Google+, and keyword rankings. Businesses that have acquired low ratings and reviews are having trouble ranking in the top positions of Google. This is becoming one of the most important things to manage, as a business owner.
Just to give you an idea of the weight of these things, “Yelp Reviews” gets searched 60,500 times monthly and, “Google Reviews” gets searched 201,000 times monthly. Online reviews are becoming more important to the consumer than ever before.
I recently had a client who was achieving strong keyword rankings, but not TOP keyword rankings. Upon further investigation, I determined that out of their 54 reviews on Yelp, they had between 1 and 3 star ratings. Clearly, this is a sign that they aren’t holding up their end of the deal to provide exceptional customer service.
Why do I care how they treat their customers, you ask? No, it’s not because I am huge advocate of karma, although I certainly am! It’s because Google knows! They know and they aren’t going to rank websites in the top positions of their search engine if customer feedback states that they are sub-par. Why would they want to promote a business that is sure to disappoint? It makes them, as a search engine, look bad. Ok, so this seems very basic, right? Provide an honest service, be sure that your customer service is out of this world, and your product goes above and beyond what the customer could ever imagine. What happens when you are doing everything in your power to go above and beyond for a customer, and it simply isn’t enough and they decide to write a bad review? Although you might want to throw a dart at their head, it’s better to kill ‘em with kindness. Respond to their review with a polite, “I’m so sorry you had a less-than-pleasant experience. I would love to make things better by buying you a pony”. Don’t have money for a pony? Come up with SOMETHING! Customers just want to feel that they are heard, and if your respond with kindness, you will find that many times they will go back and change their negative review.
In closing, it is necessary for you to take an active role in your reputation management. Letting bad reviews sit is, not only, going to hurt you on review sites like Yelp.com and Google+, but it is going to hurt your overall web presence. Be kind and understanding when you respond to unkind reviews and you will maintain top positioning in Google. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey, Honey! 😉
Jori Stevian is an Account Manager at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!